STEP 1 – GET IN TOUCH WITH AN EXCLUSIVE BUYER´S AGENT
Contact us and tell us all about your ideas and plans for Portugal. One of our exclusive buyer´s agents will be in touch to schedule a meeting with you.
STEP 2 – MEETING / BUYERS BRIEF
An initial meeting is set for you to learn a little bit more about us and vice versa. We will clarify the services provided and answer any questions you might have. We will discuss the basics of your wants and needs and then share a questionnaire to get a thorough understanding of your requirements. This questionnaire will enable us to identify essential property characteristics such as location, property type, budget, proximity to schools, transport, and amenities.
The meeting can be done via video conference, telephonically, or in person, if you are already in Portugal.
STEP 3 – KICK OFF THE HOME LOAN PROCEDURE (IF APPLICABLE)
Purchasing your first home could be the most crucial financial decision you'll ever make, whether for you to live in or simply for investment. Before moving, you need to ensure that your finances are in order.
Once you've decided to buy a new home, submit a mortgage application immediately. Not only does the process take weeks, but it will also give you a rough indication of the conditions and amount you can get pre-approved for.
When you've found your dream home and there are hundreds of other interested buyers to compete with, having this jump start may make a difference during negotiations. Time becomes money! Although the entire process may appear complex, Kuabit can connect you with a trusted mortgage broker. This can assist you in obtaining financing and negotiating the most favorable deal for you with several banks.
STEP 4 – PROPERTY SCAN / SEARCH
During this phase, we concentrate on finding a home that matches your search criteria, not just any random property. Meticulously we scan through dozens of listings using many different sources such as:
· Agency websites
· Online real estate platforms
· Local real estate agents
· Partner agents that may have silent listings & pre-market listings
STEP 5 – SHORTLIST & SUGGESTIONS
We will then provide you with a shortlist of properties that we trust suit your needs and specifications.
We will share more than enough property options with you. However, if you enjoy being part of the search, you are welcome to share your options with us too. Being comfortable choosing the right property that fits your needs is what matters most to us.
If you are an overseas buyer and not physically in Portugal, we may provide additional photos and videos of the property, area, street views, and surrounding properties. Listing agents often focus on the positive characteristics and features of the property. In order for you to make an informed decision, we also try to recognize potential issues and disadvantages.
STEP 6 – VIEWINGS
I know that time is valuable, so saving you as much time as possible is our priority. Not all the properties will be viewable on your schedule, but we will try our best to accommodate you! Some may have unique available time periods (e.g., only weekdays between 15h00-16h00) or limitations on when it's open to view due to the property having tenants (e.g., after business hours).
The Portuguese are very family oriented and for a seller or listing agent to show a property over a weekend is very uncommon. For this reason, let's try to schedule our viewings for weekdays, as they are only likely to show a property to us (maybe) on a second viewing when they know the buyer is very keen and is close to purchasing the property.
We will make all the calls, coordinate the viewings, and provide you with a well-organized viewing schedule. This way you can already start planning your holiday schedule, and catch some sunny days in this beautiful country!
STEP 7 – NEGOTIATION / MAKING THE OFFER
After we have found a suitable property, we will decide on a negotiation strategy. We ensure that you purchase the property at the best possible price - getting you the most affordable price with the most reasonable terms is our goal. Offers are not legally binding in Portugal until the buyer and seller have signed an agreement of sale. Therefore, you can make as many offers on as many properties as you like.
STEP 8 – RESERVATION
In some cases, the seller's agent will request that a reservation contract be signed where the buyer reserves the property and pays a deposit (usually 5000€). The seller states not to sell the property to another buyer during the reservation period. If the buyer proceeds with the sale, the deposit is deducted from the purchase price. This deposit is usually non-refundable as the purpose of a reservation deposit is to make the buyer commit to the property purchase.
STEP 9 – PROPERTY SURVEY / PROPERTY INSPECTION / SNAG LIST
Buyers should not confuse a property survey with a bank appraisal. A property survey is a qualified assessment of a property's condition and identifies potential buyers' issues. Typically, the Portuguese don't tend to have a property survey carried out on a property purchase; thus, it may be a challenge to find a property surveyor in Portugal. It is becoming increasingly common for homebuyers to conduct a survey, primarily as more and more foreigners invest in Portugal.
As an exclusive property buyer´s agency, we see surveys as essential and 100% recommend that our clients get a property survey done. Knowing the property´s condition and what you are buying is key, as it would indicate what expenses you may have in the future, which is key to estimating future costs and preventing surprises.
STEP 10 – BANK´S APPRAISAL AND HOME LOAN PROCEDURE CLOSURE (IF APPLICABLE)
Bank appraisals are carried out to see whether a home has enough value to obtain a home loan at the price agreed between buyer and seller. They are meant to identify potential flaws. It's crucial to bear in mind that in most cases the bank's assessment is usually lower and does not always correspond to the market value. Banks will often use the lowest of the two to calculate the LTV (loan-to-value) if the purchase price differs from the bank´s assessment.
STEP 11 – SALE & PURCHASE PROMISSORY CONTRACT
Normally within 14 days of signing the "Reservation Contract" the buyer and seller enter into a promissory agreement (´Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda' in Portuguese) mentioning the following:
· Agreed price;
· Deposit amounts;
· Payment terms;
· Items included, e.g., furniture, appliances, fixtures, fittings, etc;
· The date of property handover and the completion of the contract.
This type of contract is usually used in most transactions and is legally binding for both parties.
A deposit of 10%-20% of the total purchase price is paid directly to the seller when the promissory contract is signed. This contract is usually signed by a public notary.
Clients often want to know when they can sign the final deed and take ownership of the property. However, there is no simple answer to that.
The minimum could be 14 days and the maximum could be 90 days. If you will be obtaining finance, the maximum timeframe would be applicable from the date of signing the promissory agreement (´Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda' in Portuguese) which is 90 days. If you are a cash buyer and the property is vacant, it could take as long as 2 weeks before handover.
However, if the property is not vacant and the seller still needs to find another home, they often request 90 days until handover. When making an initial offer, it is imperative to specify the period in which you would like to take possession. Then you and the seller can meet one another halfway.
As an exclusive buyer´s agent, we always recommend that all this information is stipulated within the contract to ensure that all parties are well informed. A defaulting party may suffer consequences if anyone pulls out of the deal according to the agreed clauses. If the buyer walks away from the sale, they may lose their deposit. In addition, if the seller pulls out of the deal, they may be required to pay back twice the deposit to the buyer.
STEP 12 – COMPLETION / CLOSING / FINAL DEED
Usually, the signing of the final deed (escritura de compra e venda in Portuguese) occurs one to three months after signing the promissory contract at the notary public. Closing includes transferring legal ownership, making the final balance payment, plus other payments such as notary fees and the deed registration fee.
The property is now officially yours, and we will arrange the pick-up of the keys to your new home and deliver them to your lawyer, property manager, yourself, or any other chosen contact.
GET IN CONTACT
Kuabit is an exclusive buyer´s agency and has helped many happy clients buy real estate in the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Lisbon, and Porto. We´re happy to clarify any doubts that you may have. Reach out to us, and we’ll respond asap.
+351 936 070 311 (Portuguese mobile network number)